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 March 24, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Discovering cooking
Some students at St. Joseph Notre Dame High in Alameda are enrolled in “Cooking for College,” taught by chef and caterer Cheryl Loring as part of the school’s new Academic Discovery after school enrichment program. “When students get to college and start living on their own, many are at a loss as to how to prepare a meal that tastes good, is nutritious and is within their budgets,” Loring said.
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Salute to scouts
Scouts at St. Perpetua Parish in Lafayette stand with their pastor, Father John Kasper, and Cub Scout leader Jeff Kilbourn after a special Scouting Sunday Mass last month. The scouts served as ushers, greeters, lectors, and bearers of the Offertory gifts. Four cub scouts received their religious medals during the liturgy.
Locks of love
Students and faculty at Berkeley’s St. Mary’s High School participated in a “Locks of Love” haircutting event on Feb. 15, shedding their long locks to help create hairpieces for youngsters afflicted with illnesses that result in hair loss. Christian Brother V. Kenneth acted as the barber for (from left) Sandra Pena, sophomore; Mar Martin, faculty member; Bharpreet Sidhu, junior; Clare McCormick, faculty member; and Zoe Cookenboo, sophomore.

Keeping reusables reusable

The California Integrated Waste Management Board recently launched a new website that makes it easier for businesses, churches, schools and organizations to dispose of and locate reusable-excess materials at little or no cost. The website — www.ciwmb.ca.gov/CalMAX/— offers a clearinghouse and provides a database which categorizes reusable materials into specific classifications such as paper, textiles, wood, and glass. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control, at www.dts.ca.gov, provides information for disposal of hazardous waste.

Around the Parishes

The Voices of Faith Gospel Choir from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, paid a surprise visit to St. Columba Church on March 2. The choir, which was on a tour of California, dropped by the Oakland church and gave a mini-concert after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass, reports parishioner Lois Wiley. “They were great,” she said. On behalf of the parish she sent heart-felt thanks to the choir. “Please come back, we love you,” she added.

Faculty and staff from Our Lady of Prompt Succor School in Chalmette, Louisiana, recently sent thank you notes to Dublin’s St. Raymond Parish in appreciation for the gift cards they received from the parish’s Angel Tree Project. The Louisiana school community is still experiencing the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Starting March 30 at 5 p.m., Father Jerry Brown, pastor, will celebrate the Latin Mass each Sunday evening at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Brentwood.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy Novena, which began on March 21(Good Friday) will continue through the eve of Divine Mercy, March 29, at St. Anthony Church in Oakley. The novena is chanted in English at 3 p.m. and in Spanish at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call (925) 625-2109.

A Filipino Easter Day tradition called Salubong was introduced at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole yesterday (March 23) before the Children’s Easter Mass celebration. Organized by the parish’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Society, the ritual featured the Blessed Mother, represented by a parishioner, who visited the tomb of Jesus and discovered that He has risen. Her dark veil of mourning was removed by several young children who symbolized the angels.

The Newman Nonviolent Peacemaking Group at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley marked Palm Sunday by inviting people to sign a statement of conscience against torture and to pick the name of a prisoner at Guantanamo to keep in prayer.

St. Perpetua Parish in Lafayette hosted the “Winter Nights Shelter,” providing shelter, meals and support to several homeless families in Contra Costa County the week of March 3-10.

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Around the Schools

Extra! Extra! Sixth graders at Danville’s St. Isidore School are reporting and writing about news events and activities in their school. The student journalists are writing articles individually or in pairs for their paper, known as Scoop. So far the class has published two editions under the direction of editors, Madi Aberer and Grace DeWitt.

Speaking of student journalists, the news operations at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda continues to evolve. Since debuting as a print publication about a dozen years ago, followed by video broadcasts a few years later, the Spartan is now an online publication. With its web partner MySchoolJournalism.org, it is planning to introduce podcasts and online video (also known as vodcasts or video-on-command) in the near future.

Students at Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School were very active during Lent — they volunteered once a week to cook for the residents of the Catholic Worker house, served hot meals to homeless seniors at St. Mary’s Center, and worked at Mercy Retirement and Care Center and at St. Elizabeth Church, all in Oakland.

Eleven students from Salesian High School in Richmond joined 20,000 youth from across California at the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference last month. They shared youth day with many friends from other Salesian schools.

Starting this month, art created by students at Holy Names High School in Oakland is now on display at Nelly’s Java in Oakland. The Montclair-area café, which specializes in organic teas and coffee, is located at 1952 Mountain Blvd. This month five pieces by seniors, Michelle Li and Kelsey Duncan, are featured.

Students in the advanced placement psychology class at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School received real-life insights about criminal justice from Chief Deputy Al Waters of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department during a recent visit. The students learned about the challenges facing youth in low-income areas and what is being done to address concerns about the mentally ill in the city’s justice system.

Five wrestlers at De La Salle High School in Concord won titles at the Bay Valley Athletic League (BVAL) championships last month. They are Tyler Sheridan (145), Kyle Hardester (160), Tito Pica (171), Nick Jansen (189), and Jordan Felix (215).

Munir Jiwa, director of the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, talked with Henry Tenenbaum on KRON 4 TV’s Morning News Weekend on March 16 about the opening of the Center.

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Among the Religious

Best Wishes to members of the first class of permanent deacons in the Oakland Diocese who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their ordinations. Thirteen of the 28 men ordained in February and March of 1978 are active or retired. The retired deacons are James Barnes, Leonard Bettencourt, Ferris Anthony, Ross Hoblitzell, Frederico Ceja and Ysidro Madrigal. The deacons in active ministry are Juan Beltran, Nelson Gonsalves, Ovide Guesdnon, Ronald Horan, Richard Martin, and William Warren and Larry Sousa who are serving outside the diocese. The other 15 members of the class are deceased.

Bishop Allen Vigneron, Bishop Emeritus John Cummins and several area pastors received a tour of the Pinturas de Fe exhibition at the Hearst Art Gallery at St. Mary’s College in Moraga on March 18. The exhibition, which continues through April 6, tells the story of the Mexican retablo tradition of painted religious imagery which blossomed during the 17th through 19th centuries.

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Names, News, Notes

This year’s Catholic Lobby Day takes place on April 18 in Sacramento. Catholics from all over California will exercise their “faithful citizenship” at the state capital, meeting with elected officials to speak on behalf of the poor, vulnerable and voiceless. This one-day event includes information sessions, a rally at the capitol, visits with legislators, and Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.To learn more, contact John Watkins, diocesan social justice coordinator, at jwatkins@oakdiocese.org.

Many blessings to Virginia and Mervyn Davis, members at St. David Parish in Richmond, who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this month.

Congratulations to Gene and Gerry Steeb who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. John Vianney Church in Walnut Creek. The celebration, hosted by the couple’s three sons, included a luncheon at Scott’s Garden in Walnut Creek.

A celebration of the life and work of John Dillenberger will be held March 29 at First Congregational Church of Berkeley at 3 p.m. A reception will follow in the church’s large assembly room. Dillenberger, who died Feb. 7 at his home in El Cerrito, was a theologian, author, and founding president of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His widow, Jean Dillenberger, has requested that gifts in her husband’s memory be designated to the John Dillenberger Chair Endowment at the GTU.

March 29 has been designated as Super Saturday by the Internal Revenue Service and their community-based partners to help people file their tax returns in order to receive the tax rebates authorized as part of the government’s economic stimulus efforts. Taxpayer assistance centers will be open in Oakland at 1301 Clay St., and in Walnut Creek at 185 Lennon St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Free tax services will continue to be offered by Catholic Charities of the East Bay Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. People are eligible for VITA services if they earned lass than $42,000 in 2007 and are not self-employed. VITA centers are located at 3540 Chestnut Ave. in Concord (Monday and Wednesday, 4–8 p.m. through April 9) and 433 Jefferson St. in Oakland (Tuesdays, 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. through April 10.) For more information, contact the office in Concord at (925) 825-3099 or the office in Oakland at (510) 768-3100.

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